Making Delicious Melodies For All: Paper Route’s The Peace of Wild Things

by Charissa Lock

My complete enjoyment of Paper Route’s sophomore album was not made apparent to me at first. There were some nudges that “there are a couple of really good songs on here” from fellow music lovers, but I would just rebuttal with an exaggerated “yeaaaah.” However, at one point “Better Life” would be playing in my head without me realizing how it made its way there and what exactly it was doing being all catchy and on repeat in my inner-jukebox. We all know having a song stuck in our head is our body’s way of telling us that we should probably listen to the song. So I did. Yet, because I’m a music nerd, I don’t just listen to that one song, I have to listen to the album the song is on and wait patiently until the track gets there. The result was my realization of how fabulous this album is. I only had to wait two tracks until I put the world back in order by listening to “Better Life,” but I didn’t stop the album there. It kept going and I even discovered my new favorite guy to girl nickname – sugar.

The Peace of Wild Things was released on September 11th and I’m certainly glad my subconscious was smarter than my conscious. The catchiness of the album is intoxicating, there is a fluid vocal melody, or snap worthy chorus included on most tracks and layers and layers underneath of well composed synth and beats that set such a professional and talented foundation, you have to have an articulated listen and not just for the catchy pop-rock factor. At first I had put this album in a “Train-listening soccer mom” category, until my final re-listen and continued listens and realized… Hell, Train-listening soccer mom’s might enjoy this, but they’ll never realize how good it is, so now I owe that to Paper Route for putting out a great album.

So what do we have here besides “catchy” and “cool synth composition”? Well, it starts out with whiney, yet strong vocals that you instantly want to sing along to (making those next to you instantly annoyed since you’ll never be able to pull it off). Without having a definite structure “Love Letters,” has this go-between mellow moments with a great build up transitioning to quick-tempo beats, and those epic vocals. As the album continues, you have this late-80s mentality mixed with 90s-2000s compositions and modern instrumentation making this a perfect blend of delicately orchestrated feel-good music you can be proud listening to. There are a lot of “favorites” I have on The Peace of Wild Things mainly because every song is different than the one before and all seem to have moments where I think about how much I love the song. “Better Life,” the clapping is elegantly placed with the verses and beats, “Sugar” is just an amazing song in general and the bridge build is extraordinary sending goosebumps throughout, “You and I” has these beautifully melodies for verses, “Tamed” is eerie and insatiable (Cacie’s voice is perfect as a guest vocalist), the entire 5 minute 41 seconds of “Rabbit Holes” goes beyond anything you can compare it to with strings bringing it to another level, and finally “Calm My Soul” is a beautiful ballad that is so smooth it literally “calms your soul.”

Paper Route is a band that is all about breaking barriers of “assumed listeners” and a specific fan base. There is no Max Bemis calling out listeners for dissing their band, this is a free-for all, everyone is a part of a big family feeling. And that is exactly how the music comes across. After forty minutes of The Peace of Wild Things you realize how universal music is and how you could very much listen to this song in any country and 70% of the population would thoroughly enjoy it (even if they don’t understand all the words, but it’s in English so unless we’re in the mountains of Tibet…). Paper Route’s The Peace of Wild Things beautifully bridges the fuzzy gap between pop-rock-indie-radio that we sometimes are too judgmental and quick to adventure into.

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